The name Niedermayer is well respected in the hockey world.
Hockey Hall of Fame member Scott Niedermayer is arguably one of the best defensemen to play internationally and in the NHL.
He won everything along the way during his 18-year career, a Western Hockey League championship, a Memorial Cup, World Junior Hockey Championship gold, a World Cup title, the Norris Trophy as best blueliner in the NHL, and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs.
He is a two time Olympic gold medallist, including captaining Canada at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, and multiple Stanley Cup winner, claiming three on his own and one with this his younger brother Rob as a teammate.
It’s fair to say the name Niedermayer has a rich hockey history.
Scott and Rob have been retired for nearly ten years, and now it’s time for the next generation of Niedermayers to make some noise. Once again, a pair of Niedermayer brothers are on the same team, this time in the BC Hockey League with the Penticton Vees. 19-year-old Jackson and 16-year-old Joshua Niedermayer will lace up in the Peach City this season.
From the Ducks to the (flying) Vees
Born in Newport Beach, California, Jackson Niedermayer grew up in the hockey world. The six-foot, 198-pound left winger rose through the ranks while playing for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks system at both the U14 and U16 level before joining the Vees for the 2018-19 season.
During his Jr. Duck days, Niedermayer also played for Lutheran High School and was selected 90th in the 2016 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft by the Calgary Hitmen, but never played major junior hockey.
In minor hockey from 2015-18, Niedermayer recorded 156 points in 138 games before coming north. He committed to the Vees in July 2018 and made his debut that following season.
“Both my parents are from here, and we would always come back here every summer,” he said in a feature profile on the BCHL website last December. “It’s like a second home for me. It’s a great spot. I wanted to go play college hockey, and I think that Penticton was the best option for me.”
His first year in Penticton, Niedermayer suited up only 36 times due to an injury and registered two goals and four assists. It wasn’t until his second season when he made a mark on the score sheet and was one of the Vees go-to guys.
The Vees had a great 2019-20 campaign, clinching their ninth straight interior division title, and were poised to make a push for the Centennial Cup in large part due to Niedermayer’s play.
In the regular season, he had 45 points in 52 games and played prominent minutes for Vees head coach Fred Harbinson this time around. Being healthy for the season helped Niedermayer gain some confidence leading into the postseason, where he added another six points in five games.
He managed 0.87 points per game during his two BCHL seasons so far and should see that increase once the 2020-21 season gets underway. The veteran has started the Okanagan Cup in style with eight points in five games at the time of this writing.
Leaning on a world of experience
Growing up in a household with one of the greatest NHL defensemen of all-time rubbed off on Niedermayer for sure. As well, his uncle Rob played more than 1,100 games in the league, and his first cousin once removed, Jason Strudwick, suited up in 674 games over 14 seasons.
“Growing up, I was very fortunate to have my Dad to talk to and get their aspect on everything and learn from him,” Niedermayer explained in an article on the Vees website from July 2019. “I take his advice and learn as much as I can from him, but at the end of the day, I don’t see him as anything other than ‘Dad,’ so it’s nice to have that kind of a person to look up to and help with any questions I have.”
The elder Niedermayer brother is committed to playing NCAA Division 1 hockey at Arizona State University next September and will cherish every moment this season alongside his younger brother Joshua to help his adopted hometown team win a championship.